Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Desperate Housewife, Dear Margo, and the Bible

There was a letter to Dear Margo that I wanted to note because it has some of the same issues I recently wrote about analyzing a letter to Dear Abby. But first I wanted to address Margo’s response to the other letter in that edition of her column.

The first letter in the column was from a bisexual woman who was complaing about negative feelings towards bisexuals from some gay men and lesbians. But Dear Margo took the opportunity to bash the Bible:

Things have greatly improved, to be sure, but there will always be people who are narrow-minded, bigoted, judgmental or influenced by a literal reading of the Bible … even though the "good book" contradicts itself in many instances.
Really? Lesbians and gays are giving bisexuals a hard time because of the Bible? Ah yes, it is right there in 1st Illusions 3:16 - "Thou shalt engage in homosexual sex or heterosexual sex, but thou must pick only one."

In regards to "a literal reading of the Bible" – people have a misconception about what it means to take something lierally. It means reading literature as the kind of literature it is – history as history, satire as satire, metaphor as metaphor. However, using various literary forms, the Bible does consistently portrays sex as something for marriage, and marriage as between a man and a woman. Look it up. It is there in the first and last books and many between – a consistent message. (However, as a matter of law, I think homosexual and bisexual people should be free to do what they want as far as relationships, sex, etc.)

Which brings me to the other point. Consistency. Dear Margo says the Bible "contradicts itself in many instances." But I notice she did not name an instance. Some of my readers don't care much for the Bible, or don't treat is authoritative. Fine. I can respect sincere and informed differences from my own beliefs. I actually discussing those differences. But Dear Margo does what so many people do, and dismisses any authority for the Bible by simply asserting it is filled with contradictions. Most people who do this can't name a single one.

Yes, there are websites that will list alleged contradictions for you. But when you study the Bible and note the literary genres, to whom the various books were written, etc. – then the alleged contradictions disappear. From what I remember, there is a place or two where numbers don't match, likely because of an error in transmission. There are websites that examine each alleged contraction and show them to be nonexistent or insignificant. Not that it matters... if every alleged contradiction that folks like Dear Margo brought up was explained to them to their satisfaction, they wouldn't suddenly believe the Bible. It is a red herring. If you outright deny the possibilty of the supernatural and thus deny the Bible, then fine. But don't claim the problem with the Bible is that, say, God gave certain commands to Jewish people while living in a theocracy and gave different commands to gentiles living in Rome.

But on to sex stuff.

The letter I wanted to note, which, as I said, had similar themes to one to Dear Abby, was from "Frustrated in Texas":

I'm in my late 30s, married 10 years to my hubby who is in his early 40s. He's a great guy and a wonderful father to our two children. Our marriage is good on all fronts but one. While my libido appears to be growing, his appears to be slowing - noticeably.
This is not unsual given the ages and the children.

In addition, my sense of adventure in the bedroom is expanding, and I find myself interested in other types of play.
Sounds great!

Yet he has decided that missionary is it and that a "lady" should not have these desires.
He's wrong,and not only shortchanging you, he's shortchanging himself. He should seek to please you, as long as what you want to do isn't destructive.

This means our infrequent liaisons are less than satisfying.

I can honestly say that every other aspect of our relationship is really good.
Well that's good. But without good sex, it is like saying that my car is great in every way but barely runs.

I think we're both too young to spend the rest of our years like this, but I don’t know what to do about it.
Any advice, ladies or gentlemen? I'm stumped because I identify more with her than him in this case.

To make matters worse, I recently had an online chat with someone in another country that grew quite steamy. While I have never done anything of that nature before, I found it thrilled me.
It's not right, but it is better than physically taking on a lover.

People should eat at home. But if the kitchen is bare, people tend to go elsewhere to eat. That's human nature. Does he believe in the Bible? (See, here's advice that Dear Margo can't give.) There are books and websites that are Bible-based that explain that spouses are supposed to enjoy sexual variety together. That might be the way to go. And seeing if his doctor can find a problem and offer a solution.

I remember reading that, contrary to popular modern perceptions of Puritans, if a wife went to her friends with complaints like this, the friends would tell their husbands and the husbands would get together and tell guys like this woman's husband that it was his Christian duty to make love with his wife often and keep her satisfied.

Dear Margo tells her to quit the cybersex and and get some therapy involved.

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